Ecos

A bimonthly scholarly journal that publishes research and issues of sustainability in the environment, industry and community. Focused on Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Articles from No. 131, June-July

Antarctic Microbes Clean Up Petroleum Pollutants
Under the right conditions, microorganisms in Antarctic soils and marine sediments could help environmental managers clean up fuel and oil spills. In two experiments, Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) scientist Dr Shane Powell, and her colleagues...
Events Calendar
82nd Australian Coral Reef Society Conference Mission Beach, Queensland, 18-20 August. www.australiancoralreefsociety.org/2006_ conference.htm 2nd AustralAsian Cleantech Finance & Investment Forum--Building AustralAsia's Cleantech...
Going the Corporate Mile: The Past Decade Has Seen a Growing Recognition in the Boardroom and among Executives That There Is More Than Just Virtue and Image to Be Gained for Companies That Choose to Operate Responsibly, Value Their Employees and the Environment, and Foster the Wellbeing of Their Communities. Why Are Australian Companies Lagging Behind?
If there were no laws to constrain their behaviour, would companies behave greedily and without conscience? The long history of corporate misdeeds might suggest so, but a growing number of Australia's most recognisable companies are formally committing...
Helping Re-Vegetate China's Loess Plateau
ACIAR (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research), CSIRO Land and Water, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, have developed a joint collaborative project and special Decision Support Tool to...
Inquiry Encourages Broader Corporate Reporting Accountability
A recent inquiry by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (PJC) into corporate responsibility and triple bottom line reporting has found that there is no change required to current regulations for Australia's corporations...
Making a Natural Impact: After 12 Years Following a Hunch, Dean Cameron Developed a Highly Efficient Natural Waste Treatment System That's a Winner in Australia and Could Be an Answer for Developing Countries
Environmental scientist Dean Cameron spent 12 years investigating how nature breaks down leaf litter and human and animal waste. He discovered that natural decomposition occurs fastest and most efficiently on river edges, where debris is moist, but...
Maths Expertise Will Underpin National Greenhouse Maps
Mathematical research is going to help create detailed land use maps that will enable Australia to estimate and better manage its greenhouse gas emissions. The Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO) and CSIRO's Mathematical and Information Sciences...
Mini Yellow Subs Will Accelerate Underwater Research Worldwide
A team from the Australian National University in Canberra is leading underwater monitoring technology, having reached the commercial stage with their cost-beating, mini autonomous submarines. Designed to be deployed in a fleet, the programmable multi-talented...
Phosphorus Sheds New Light on the Ocean's Carbon Dioxide Pump
A recent finding that the preserved skeletons of ancient deep-sea corals stored phosphorus in exactly the same amounts as the surrounding oceans has opened the way for researchers to measure the ability of the world's oceans to absorb manmade C[O.sub.2]....
Rio Tinto-Exploring the New Frontier
Charlie Lenegan, CEO of Rio Tinto Australia, says the mining giant made a commitment in the 1990s to implement a CSR scheme throughout its international operations. 'It's a global program, but it has had real impact in Australia in terms of our...
Savings and Loans-In the Returns Business
The Adelaide-based Savings and Loans Credit Union won the 'Best New Entrant' Award at the 2006 Corporate Responsibility Index (CRI) awards. One of the small-to-medium enterprises represented in the 2005 CRI (winners were announced this year), Savings...
Sheep Reproduction Hope for NZ Possum Control
Researchers from AgResearch New Zealand and CSIRO Livestock Industries hope that sheep with natural genetic mutations affecting their reproduction may prove to be an excellent model in developing a possible control for New Zealand's possum plague....
Solar Cities Generating New Approaches: The Far-Reaching National Solar Cities Program Is Set to Trial the Wide-Scale Deployment of the Latest Solar Technology. It Also Aims to Find New Ways for Communities to Think about Their Energy Use, and for Electricity Markets to Deliver Competitively Priced Renewable Energy Where and When It Is Needed
How could you demonstrate how solar power, smart meters, energy efficiency and new approaches to electricity pricing can combine to provide a sustainable energy future in urban locations around Australia? Answer: via the ambitious $75 million Solar...
The End of the Beginning: For Sceptics outside the Mining Industry, It Might Still Seem Implausible That Mining and Sustainable Development Could Go Together. at the Same Time, Some People within the Industry Believe the Case for Sustainable Development Has Already Been Made. Paul Mitchell Argues That Reality Lies Somewhere between These Two Positions
At the end of the 1990s, business leaders in the mining industry faced a raft of important challenges. There were significant reputation issues, with protestors campaigning against companies on their human rights and environmental records. The very...
Tip of the Icebergs
The number of tourist trips to the Antarctic each year is increasing dramatically as popularity for the 'once in a lifetime' destination spreads and more operators establish routes to the frozen wilderness. While all involved want the same thing--the...
Urban Wildlife Questions Put Residents in the Picture
A recent community survey about wildlife in 38 urban bushland fragments in Brisbane has yielded some interesting findings: a high appreciation and tolerance for wildlife--including 'nuisance' species--among neighbouring residents; a wealth of local...
Wanted for Lease: 6 Star Office
Green dividends are driving a new design era in commercial buildings, now being reflected in Australia. With some outstanding examples of sustainable office blocks in our capital cities now attracting the international limelight, what constitutes a...